Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that can be easily resolved without a doctor's appointment.
It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete's foot. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.
Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be treated with medicines that are available over the counter.
Your pharmacist can advise on what you might find useful to keep in your medicine cabinet. Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and consult your doctor if the illness continues or becomes more severe.
Your Local Pharmacist
Pharmacists offer professional free health advice at any time - you don't need an appointment. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses. They can answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. Your local Pharmacist can also advise on healthy eating.
Pharmacists can also advise on health eating, obesity and giving up smoking. Some pharmacists have private areas where you can talk in confidence. They may suggest you visit your GP for more serious symptoms. It is possible to purchase many medicines from the chemist without a prescription. Watch this short video on how you can get the most out of your local pharmacy
NHS Urgent Care Centres
NHS Urgent Care Centres offer convenient access to a range of NHS services for patients based in England only. You can receive treatment for many ailments including:
- infection and rashes,
- fractures and lacerations,
- emergency contraception and advice,
- stomach upsets,
- cuts and bruises, or
- burns and strains.
NHS Urgent Centres have proved to be a successful complementary service to traditional GP and A&E services. However, they are not designed for treating long-term conditions or immediately life-threatening problems.
The Urgent Care Centres are open from 8pm to 8am. However, we would advise that you call NHS 111 to get an appointment to reduce your waiting times. and TALK before you WALK
Minor Injuries Unit
From the 1st of April, we will add a Minor Injuries Unit service. If you have a minor injury, 24/7, 365 days a year, you can go to a unit at:
- Bishop Auckland Hospital DL14 6AD or
- Peterlee Community Hospital SR8 5UQ
However, we would advise that you call NHS 111 to get an appointment to reduce your waiting times.
- Examples of a minor injury are:
- Sprains and strains
- Broken Bones
- Wound infections
- Minor burns and scalds
- Minor head injuries
- Minor eye injuries
- Insect and animal bites
The NHS belongs to us all. Lets use it responsibly. The way you use your NHS matters - using it wisely means we can develop and invest in local services to make your NHS fit for the future.
Phone 111 and TALK before you WALK
Accident & Emergency (A&E)
Major A&E departments assess and treat patients who have serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for emergencies, such as:
- loss of consciousness,
- pain that is not relieved by simple analgesia,
- acute confused state,
- persistent, severe chest pain, or
- breathing difficulties.
If you're injured or seriously ill, you should go, or be taken, to A&E. If an ambulance is needed you can call 999, the emergency phone number in the UK. You can also dial 112, which is the equivalent for the European Union.
Major A&E departments offer access 365 days a year and usually open 24 hours a day. Be aware that not all hospitals have an A&E department.